Whose Big Toe Is God?
by Ruth Ann Cramer
A number of Religious Ed teachers met with their Area Director to voice concerns about the New Age emphasis in the education program. In defending her mandate that energy religion principles be taught throughout the system, the Director pulled one foot from her shoe, waggled it under their noses and pontificated, “Even my big toe is god!”
Mourners had a hard time concentrating during the funeral commending their beloved Father, Grandpa and Uncle, Charlie Jones, to celestial bliss. To their consternation, a huge stuffed lion — resplendent with shiny brass eyes, gold-tufted tail and a red satin bow tied beneath his royal head — sat enthroned upon the altar. The Pastor announced the deceased’s Zodiac sign was Leo — Leo, the Lion.
A church Council sponsored a four-week series, “Amphibian Spirituality: Meditating On Amphibians To See Jesus”; taught by a church employee who kept a large bronze frog on his desk to foster enlightenment. At a meeting of fifty-plus members concerned about the New Age stranglehold on their Religious Ed program, a Council member defended the Council’s choice. Someone spoke up, “Tell me. If I meditate on frogs, how does the Holy Spirit speak to me? Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit?”
A clergyman well-known in faith healing circles, and billed as an up-and-coming name in Pranic healing (no-touch, “energy” healing), boasted his historic break-through: He’d “incorporated Christ” into the pranic ritual – “to recharge the body and improve productivity, sexuality and personal magnetism.” When the audience distracted him, he boomed, “Quiet! Jesus is speaking!”
SO, WHY CARE?
Am I just nit-picking? Harping on subjects past their prime? Fighting a losing battle? Matthew and I long for all to know the One True God, and to enjoy eternal life. We have seen how deviating from belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit deeply affects one’s natural and spiritual life in definite, negative and destructive — even mortally wounding — ways. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we take seriously His directives to teach the Truth, unchain those in bondage and set free captives.
This posting and its companion, The Blue–Eyed Satanist, constitute an overview of what we call our Other Than God (OTG) series of religious or spiritual pursuits. Please read both of them to gain the fullest picture.
SO, WHAT’S TO WORRY?
An amazing amalgam of psychic, spiritual and religious beliefs, fables and lies, has not only melded into Christian culture, but is being promoted by hospitals, healing institutions, retreat houses, recovery groups, spirituality centers, convents, schools, universities, work places; groups, churches, non-profits, dioceses and parishes.
Masked in seductive religious and spiritual jargon, this mostly pantheistic amalgam includes, Gnosticism, Reiki, Guided Imagery, Therapeutic Touch, Creation Centered Spirituality, occult practices and universal energy religion. It uses theories, superstition, supposed ancient mysteries, astrology, channeling, chakras, crystals, mandalas, enneagrams and labyrinths to facilitate its ultimate aim to entrap, manipulate and imprison Christian disciples.
Lumped under so-called, New Age principles and practices, the New Age label can be a real turnoff, so New Age doesn’t announce itself as such. Veiled and shaped by deception and idolatry, New Age entangles by misdirection, obfuscation, and fantasy. Seekers may be drawn through lack of faith, boredom, curiosity, need for healing, excitement or attention, and/or a drive to acquire a mysterious or unique spirituality with “special” powers. New Age enthralls and excites as one is invited to gain particular knowledge, enjoy a more interesting, exotic or profound spiritual “life”, as well as win the attention of others; and even, a chance at notoriety.
Trouble is . . . from innocent dabbling, to escalation, to a supposedly “more excellent way” of becoming a practitioner, healer or “Ascended Master”, this progressive impetus, this motivational momentum of involvement, compels one ever, ever deeper into veiled bondage. The way grows dark indeed! (Though those ensnared will insist the rest of us, who are not ascended, are spiritually simple; and too restricted by ordinary faith and blind obedience to understand.)
The hard truth is: Neither innocence, nor ignorance, will change the awful consequences when Christians participate in New Age practices. Deadly dangerous to one’s spiritual life, it’s imperative that Christians caught in New Age, recognize the deception, and return to the narrow path of Jesus Christ, His Father and The Holy Spirit; so they might be set free and live in truth. Not an easy task, but it can be done. It’s much safer not to get involved in the first place.
New Age — sly, attractive, camouflaged, aggressive — offers much that’s good. So, how can we recognize it? There are certain basic differences that make all the difference. A close study of this chart will yield much understanding.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE DIFFERENCES
|Offers God-given Laws||Offers Freedom & non-restraint|
|One offers Self to God||One sees Godhood in self|
|Jesus calls for Self sacrifice||One seeks Self fulfillment|
|Jesus calls for Self denial||One seeks Self satisfaction|
|Prime mode of belief: Faith||Prime belief in Experience & The Process|
|Resource for growth: Sanctifying grace||Growth by Self determination & Soul work|
|One worships through Liturgy||One relates through Ritual|
|Personal Relationship is object of faith||Technique is center of belief|
|Willing submission to God’s will||One’s will is the driver|
|Bowing low in worship before God||One’s Self is in Ascendancy|
|Abandonment to trust in Jesus||Trust in importance of self|
|Dependency on God’s Love||Dependency on Technique|
|Bears fruit that endures||Seeks ever-increasing spiritual high|
|Recognizes and Deals with sin||Sees no evil & Promises success|
|Communicates with Trinity||Communicates with life force|
|God is The Source of Life||Universal Energy is Source and god|
MORE NEW AGE CUES
Another way we can recognize New Age thinking is to take cues from New Age healing techniques. Most share the same incorrect assertions, and use these key words:
A life force or universal energy pervades all beings and matter, uniting each individual to the cosmos to make them one.
Awaiting command, energy flows from the cosmos into living creatures and circulates through the body energy centers – chakras or meridians – psychic centers activated or balanced by use of centering, meditation, TM, yoga, crystals, etc. and flows out again.
Disease results from blockage or imbalance in flow of energy through the body.
Energy is then channeled for creative or destructive action, by direct physical contact or invisible transfer, from healer to patient, animal, thing, situation, or from a distance. Alterations in energy are the basis for supernatural events.
New Age posits that since human beings consist of: Energy that’s assumed material form, manifests intelligence and guides our physical, psychic and spiritual evolution — humans can be nothing less than God! Even the woman’s big toe! Imagine the deception, the ego puffery!
Though science cannot validate, measure or monitor these energy techniques in the physical world; still, New Age says, this invisible, nonmeasurable, supposedly infinite, divine energy must be considered the basis of all existence. Give me a break!
SOME NEW AGE HEALING TECHNIQUES
Many techniques used by New Age healers reflect the fallacy of all-is-one Monism, which claims that distinctions between ones self and other objects and individuals, and between good and evil, disappear. That man is a divine being, whose purpose in life is to be aware of his divine nature through spiritual and psychic techniques. One need only take up the mantle of a divine being, and life becomes easy!
This “enlightenment” allegedly leads to receiving the psycho-spiritual power needed for energy healing. Therapeutic Touch (TM), supposedly transfers good energy from healer to patient; Healing Touch (TM), falsely claims energy flow can be realigned and the mind/body/spirit activated; Pranic Healing, taken from Prana, the ancient Hindu mysticism, supposedly taps into the source of energy that moves the universe; lastly, today’s very popular Reiki alleges that through precisely-patterned moves, crystals are “charged into a grid”, then — using mantras of empowering affirmation and extended prayers — asks supernatural Reiki guides, angels and archangels to charge the grid, so one can “send” Reiki.
But the promise is false. Never let yourself be led to dabble in or try any of these techniques We and others in Christian healing and counseling ministries, know by experience that practicing New Age techniques will bring only confusion, darkness, disorientation, even depression — not light, not peace.
Aliases, including universal life energy, life force, vital force, Ch’I, Ki, “the healing power of the universe” and “what religions call God” all camouflage the pretentious duplicity and deceptive lies of New Age proponents. Evil is more than happy to stimulate and simulate results — euphoria, relief, peace or a “high” — thoughts or feelings making one believe something is actually happening.
Something is happening! And, it’s not good!
Look closely . . . there is no turning to, or bowing down to, or coming before in adoration, the One, Only, True God. There is no recognition or gratitude that of the Three Persons in Our eternal God, One took on human form, suffered grievously and died that we might have life eternal. All we seek is found within These Three; there is nothing to be found outside Our Beloved God.
Remember: This God who claimed, “I am the Way; I am the Truth; I am the Life” is the same God we meet when we stop breathing, and we die.
The New Age god is a supposed and unknown “force” called ENERGY. Commensurate with their claims of its godliness, the desired grace sought of this god is — bottom line — an aggrandizement of the person. What deception! What danger! What an empty waste!
BUT, IS IT REAL?
In the Spring 1998 issue of Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, New Age professional healers admit they can’t prove New Age Energy theories. Two RN’s, who popularized Therapeutic Touch among nurses, stated in an article, “Therapeutic Touch; What Could Be The Harm?” — “There is little support that this transfer of energy actually occurs, for there are no accepted means of measuring this transfer.”Again, “We don’t have empirical data to demonstrate the existence of a personal energy field. It’s a working hypothesis.” So much for “spiritual” fact.
Dr. Paul Reisser, M.D. in his excellent book, New Age Medicine; A Christian Perspective On Holistic Health (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987) states: “Every energy therapy comes with strings attached which ultimately pull toward the world of paranormal, overt occultism and exaltation of self as divine.”
It’s this shrouded hiddenness, this obscure concealment posing as something of great worth to be desired and sought after, which causes grave danger to faith and one’s self. God’s concern is idolatry’s immanent threat to our spiritual lives. He warns us of eternal consequences of turning to other than Him, and out of love for us, forbids us!
“You shall not practice augury or witchcraft. Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God. (Lev 19:26,31 RSV)
” …so they are without excuse, for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools …and exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Ro 1:20-25 RSV)
” …in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments. You felt secure in your wickedness, you said, “No one sees me”; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me.” But evil shall come upon you, for which you cannot atone; disaster shall fall upon you, which you will not be able to expiate; and ruin shall come on you suddenly, of which you know nothing. Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries with which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you may be able to succeed, perhaps you may inspire terror. You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons predict what shall befall you. Behold, they are like stubble, the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame …they wander about each in his own direction; there is no one to save you. (Isa 47:9-15 RSV)
OR, IS IT A LIE?
Wow! We can’t say God doesn’t warn us! Remember, Satan promised Eve, “…You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God…” (Gen 3:4,5 RSV) Just imagine Adam and Eve watching as the body of their son, Abel, putrefied in the sun; and realizing they’d swallowed A Big Fat Lie! Instigated and promulgated by A Liar From The Start — as Jesus called him — Satan’s lie even now resounds, insinuating that God withheld special knowledge we can acquire; and this knowledge will raise us up, make us gods.
Recognize the appeal here? You poor God-followers! God and his reps are keeping the good stuff from you. Your own god-liness is cloaked, hidden away! You have a right to discover your true self, and experience fully what’s rightfully yours! Just open your mind; know your god-dom.
Open our minds? Evil wants us blind and dumb. We only think we see. We only think we know. We deliver ourselves up, render ourselves vulnerable, because we want to know more, experience more, acquire a “special edge”, have and use special powers, and be raised up. We start with empty and seeking, or curious and interested, then escalate to intrigued and excited, become impressed and influenced, then sold out, and . . . end up trapped in deep, deep bondage.
Because New Age won’t listen for the Holy Spirit, the resultant lack of spiritual truth leads to (1) absence of true discernment, (2) increasing confusion and (3) ignorance of spiritual reality. New Age never mentions sin; yet, unable to recognize the absence of fruit and the presence of deception, this blindness makes one a prime target for idolatry, moral weakness and occult bondage.
EVIL IS, AS EVIL DOES
Above all, trust God’s Word! From our limited experience, we offer this: Through the occult — the ultimate aim of the evil behind New Age beliefs and practices — demonic spirits are contacted — whether one believes in evil spirits or not. When evil is allowed in, even unknowingly, bondage happens! One may say, “I didn’t know.” or “No one told me.” Or “That’s not what I intended.”
Or worse: “New Age is spiritually effective and all-good; and I don’t believe in evil spirits.” Aaahh, but ignorance and good intentions do not negate the consequences!
These deadly consequences will not fade with time; nor will demons flee because we change our mind or stop practicing New Age. We let evil in: In the Name of Jesus, we must order evil out of our lives. Then, we must protect our reclaimed minds, hearts, spirits. (For more on this part, see Discarding Evil Spirits in The Sandbox). We treasure the unutterable grace and beauty of a personal relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and must do all possible to nourish, retain and invigorate that bond, that interrelating, through daily — if not, moment-to-moment — prayer.
Please remember: Labeling New Age practice as Christian, spiritual, or even done in the name of Jesus Christ, does not make it Christian or a work of God. As Jesus Christ said:
“Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’’ (Mt 7:21-23 RSV)
Let those of us who cry “Lord, Lord”, remain bound in wisdom and truth to The One Lord Alone! Let us pledge fidelity to The One, True Lord — Jesus Christ, Son of God; His and our dear, dear Father; and our Ultimate Instructor, The Holy Spirit. We bow low before The One True God.
If you wish to read further, these are helpful:
- United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops, Committee On Doctrine. Guidelines For Evaluating Reiki As An Alternative Therapy (25 March, 2009). An excerpt:
“Since Reiki therapy is not compatible with Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the Church such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy.”
- LeBar, Reverend James J. Cults, Sects, And The New Age. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 1989.
- Pacwa, S.J., Reverend Mitch. Catholics And The New Age. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1992.
- England, Randall. The Unicorn In The Sanctuary, The Impact Of The New Age Movement On The Catholic Church. Rockford, IL: Trinity Communications, 1990.
- Steichen, Donna. Ungodly Rage: The Hidden Face Of Catholic Feminism. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1991.